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    • Join Date: Mar 2009
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    another a or the question

    a, the, or no the has been my eternal confusion in my 30 years of living in the US. Sometimes I see some native speakers use a, the, and sometimes they omit. I can get it 80 percent of the time, but other 20% is totally confusing. I need a help.

    I'd better clear one at a time. Here is one.

    How these two can be different in meaning or nuance.
    a. I felt excitment among the crowd
    b. I felt the excitment amont the crowd.

    a. I am on the edge
    b. I am on edge

    thank you so much.

  1. LeighS's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • South Africa
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      • Spain

    • Join Date: Dec 2007
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    Re: another a or the question

    Hi! Your confusion is understandable and the nuances sometimes difficult for even a native English speaker to pick up. That said, this is how I would interpret these phrases;

    a. I felt excitement among the crowd
    (They weren't bored, the people were excited-although possibly for different reasons- a general excitement)
    b. I felt the excitement among the crowd
    (here a more specific exitement- perhaps everyone was excited for the SAME reason)

    a. I am on the edge
    (here one would need a reference- what are you on the edge of? A nervous breakdown, a cliff? This sentence needs to be placed in context to fully understand it )
    b. I am on edge
    (I am nervous and jumpy)

    I hope this helps. Have a great day.

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